The 2011 ESPY Awards - Show

Report: League cleared Cuban, Mavs ESPY appearance


The NBA league office apparently has nothing better to do during the lockout than monitoring team officials to make sure they don’t even have causal contact with players. Say just one wrong word and you can get threatened with a $1 million fine.

So what was the deal with Mavs owner Mark Cuban standing with a bunch of the Dallas players on the stage at the ESPYs Wednesday night, as the Mavericks won some sort of other award because they won the NBA championship (sorry, don’t really get the point of the ESPYs).

Is Cuban getting a $1 million fine? Nope, the league cleared it in advance, according to Tom Ziller at SB Nation.

As they should have. As we said when talking Michael Jordan and golf earlier today, these kinds of things are no big deal. It’s not like Cuban and J.J. Barea were at the open bar backstage and Cuban cornered him and started preaching hard cap. (Barea might be the one guy Cuban could corner, although Barea is quick and slippery. Just ask the Lakers defenders.)

Just another reason this whole lockout is silly. The entire NBA should be in Las Vegas this week getting drunk at the circle bar at the Hard Rock Hotel during Summer League (and watching Kyrie Irving), not worrying about David Stern’s fines.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.